Senators accuse Chamber of ‘lying’ about climate action

By Emma Dumain | 03/14/2024 01:44 PM EDT

The Democrats say a Chamber of Commerce climate task force may have been a mirage. The group denies the claims.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce headquarters in Washington.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce headquarters in Washington. Francis Chung/POLITICO

Two Democratic senators are alleging the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has been running a 4½-year greenwashing operation.

Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island and Brian Schatz of Hawaii are accusing the nation’s largest business lobby of lying to elected officials, and the public, about the existence of a Chamber-led task force to combat the climate crisis.

“I was always suspicious about how quickly this task force … would influence their motivations” to combat global warming, said Schatz, “but I never really believed that they were going to not even really put together the task force. … I never really contemplated that they were just bullshitting us. And that’s what happened.”


In a roundtable discussion with reporters Thursday morning, Whitehouse and Schatz said they sent letters to the members of the “Task Force on Climate Actions,” which the Chamber convened in September 2019 with great fanfare during “Climate Week” in New York City.